About Sterling Creations

A group of business people engage in a tele-conference at a large table inside an office with glass walls.

Our Team Leader

Donna J. Jodhan is an award-winning vision-impaired advocate, author, blogger, law student, and podcast commentator.

She began her active advocacy in earnest in 2000 after having helped to kick start various advocacy initiatives at former employers. Before 2000, she received an innovational award from IBM Canada for her work on creating an accessible workstation and an accessibility award from the Royal Bank for her work in helping the training school at RBC to develop procedures to help employees with disabilities to be more functional in the workplace.

Donna became an entrepreneur in 1998 and at around 2000 she realized that as an entrepreneur she would need to fight harder to convince potential clients and consumers that as a vision-impaired entrepreneur she could fulfill their requests and needs.

Along the way, Donna became aware that the Canadian government websites were not very accessible to disabled job seekers; in 2006, after having spent several years trying to convince the Canadian government that their websites needed to be made accessible to Canadians with disabilities, she and a team of fellow advocates launched a charter challenge that culminated in a landmark victory at the Canadian Court of Appeal in 2012. As mandated by the court, the Canadian Government must make their websites accessible to all Canadians—especially those with disabilities. Indeed, many Canadian government websites today have undergone noticeable changes that reflect more accessibility and awareness of issues surrounding accessibility.

The personal and professional attacks she received during that process not only made her more determined to soldier on but ultimately spurred her to form a grassroots nonpartisan national organization named Barrier Free Canada at the end of 2014. Her mission, and the mission of BFC, was to convince the Canadian government to pass an Accessibility Act—legislation that would allow for the creation new, far-reaching regulations for organizations to follow in order to identify, remove, and prevent barriers to accessibility. This mission was accomplished in June of 2019, when the Accessible Canada Act was passed!

Donna has held voluntary positions as President of the Alliance for the Equality of Blind Canadians, as Communications Director for Canadian Blind Sports Association, and as a board member for Citizens with Disabilities of Ontario. She continues to sit on various advisory committees and to participate on panels on disability issues for the likes of Elections Canada, the Canadian Transportation Agency, and the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

As part of her ongoing advocacy efforts, Donna has turned her considerable skills, experience, and connections towards lead the Sterling Creations team in their tele town hall and round table initiatives. Donna has been hosting and running these valuable events since 2011, hoping that their unique nature will help to build bridges and break down barriers between and among Canadians with disabilities and all levels of government, as well as help to bring organizations and companies of all sizes to the table to engage in positive, meaningful discussion with other stakeholders.

When asked why she continues to advocate, Donna answers, “I do this so that our kids will be able to have a better future. It’s imperative that we protect, recognize, and legitimize all of our rights and ensure that we are not left behind. Canadians with disabilities must not be forgotten.”

Notable Past Tele-Town Halls

October 2016 / March 2018 – Consumer Advocacy. A 10-person steering committee hosted and managed a series of tele town halls across Canada. The objective of these town halls was to determine whether or not blind and vision-impaired consumers felt there was an appetite for the formation of a consumer advocacy group. Our partners included the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) and Citizens With Disabilities – Ontario (CWDO).

February 2015 – Accessible Federal Elections. Our partners included the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC), and Accessible Media, Inc. The guest speaker was the Chief Electoral Officer for Elections Canada, Marc Mayrand.

April 2014 – With the CRTC. Our partners included the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) and Accessible Media Inc. The guest speaker was Scott Hutton, executive director for broadcasting at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

November 2012 – Self-Advocacy. Our partners included the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC), Citizens With Disabilities – Ontario (CWDO), Centre for independent living.

March 2012 – Employment. Our partners included the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC), Citizens With Disabilities – Ontario (CWDO), and the CNIB Foundation (formerly the Canadian National Institute for the Blind).

October 2011 – CNIB Library Services. This town hall was held to examine the question of lorem ipsum on behalf of Dolores Sit Amet. Our consultation partners included the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC), the CNIB Foundation (formerly the Canadian National Institute for the Blind), Citizens With Disabilities – Ontario (CWDO), and the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT).